Early administration of pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate extends the therapeutic time window of tissue plasminogen activator in a male rat model of embolic stroke

J Neurosci Res. 2018 Mar;96(3):449-458. doi: 10.1002/jnr.24186. Epub 2017 Oct 4.


Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is used in fewer than 4% of patients after ischemic stroke because of its narrow therapeutic time window. We tested whether pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC), a drug with multiple mechanisms to provide neuroprotection, can be used to extend the therapeutic time window of tPA. Three-month-old male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to embolic stroke in the area supplied by the right middle cerebral artery. tPA at 10 mg/kg was given intravenously 4 h after the onset of stroke. PDTC at 50 mg/kg was given via gastric gavage at 30 min or 4 h after the onset of stroke. Two days after the stroke, neurological outcome was evaluated and the right frontal cortex area 1 (Fr1), an ischemic penumbral region, was harvested for analysis. PDTC given at 30 min after the stroke reduced infarct volumes and improved neurological functions no matter whether the rats received tPA. PDTC also reduced tPA-increased hemorrhagic volumes. Consistent with these results, PDTC in the presence or absence of tPA treatment attenuated the increase of proinflammatory cytokines, oxidative stress and matrix metalloprotease 2 activity in the right Fr1. However, PDTC given at 4 h after the onset of stroke did not improve the neurological outcome of rats treated with or without tPA. Our results suggest that PDTC given at an early time point but not in a delayed phase provides neuroprotection against embolic stroke and may be used to extend the therapeutic time window of tPA.

Keywords: embolic stroke; hemorrhagic transformation; neuroprotection; plasminogen activator; pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate; tissue.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Edema / drug therapy
  • Brain Infarction / drug therapy*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / drug therapy
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Drug Synergism
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Intracranial Embolism / chemically induced
  • Intracranial Embolism / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Pyrrolidines / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Rotarod Performance Test
  • Stroke / chemically induced
  • Stroke / drug therapy*
  • Thiocarbamates / pharmacology*
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator / pharmacology*


  • Cytokines
  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Pyrrolidines
  • Thiocarbamates
  • pyrrolidine dithiocarbamic acid
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator